Interesting idea

I saw this tweet last night when just chilling oot after work.

It really did get me thinking about the idea as I despise the list system of election to Holyrood as it allows people like Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP, to remain in parliament for 20 years having never actually won an election. The system is an affront to the voters and democracy. So if this were to happen what would the voting parliament look like:

SNP 59 seats (4 on the list) current total 63 MSPs.
The Conservative and Yoonionist Party 7 (24 on the list) current total 31 MSPs.
The Scottish Labour and Yoonionist Party 3 (21 on the list) current total 24 MSPs.
The Liberal Democrat and Yoonionist Party 4 (1 on the list) current total 5 MSPs.
The Scottish Greens 0 (6 on the list) current total 6 MSPs.

The SNP would have a huge voting majority in the parliament so we can see that the fact is the SNP don’t have a majority in Holyrood because opposition MSPs in the main, whom have never actually won an election, get in anyway whether you like it or not. When you add in first past the post at Westminster we live in one of the most unbalanced so called democracies in the world, that just cannot be right and it allows people like Dugdale, Fraser, and Rumbles into parliament . None of then add anything useful to our Parliament and our politics, very few of the opposition do but the list really does deliver the dregs, it has got to be changed.

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8 comments

  1. Dave

    It sounds on the face of it like a very good idea, the simplest solution is usually the best. This reduction in responsibility could also be reflected in the salary paid as well as the title.

    Imagine Murdo Fraser MSP 2nd Class.

    Having the full name and designation announced before speaking should be a rule also.

    • Bruce Hosie

      Dave
      I thought it was but it will never happen, no danger. I could settle for PR which I know is similar to the list but at least every vote would count and the best candidates would be at the top of the list and would in theory wipe out the chaff like Murdo Fraser etc. Here’s hoiping.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. Alan

    Ignores the reality that we’ve had some very good MSPs come through the list.

    Really, it’d be simpler to impose a two term limit on list MSPs. Either win a constituency by your third parliament or you’re out. That at least keeps the lower-quality politicians changed regularly without damaging the really good feature of list MSPs.

    Which is, it gives those screwed over by the FPTP system backup representation they DID vote for. When Labour held the Westminister seats and most of the Holyrood constituencies, I never felt inclined to contact them about anything – list MSPs were my go-to. It’s the same now for every non-SNP voter out there living in SNP constituencies – they would rather contact a Green, a Tory, a Lab or a Lib Dem MSP. The List provides for that substantially and formalising a second class status of any sort would compromise our democracy more, in the long term, than improving it.

    The problem here is really that the list part of the system is also dominated by parties. It’s biased towards parties rather than individuals. Any solution which doesn’t remedy this is just fiddling around the edge.

    If we’re going to reform our electoral system, let’s make it meaningful. Go to full PR, with STV voting in multi-member constitutencies. Blair compromised on the House of Lords and look where that ended up.

    • Anonymous

      Alan
      I think there have been some good list MSPs but most have been pretty poor to be honest. I think the two term limit is a goer and a good idea. The parties do create many of the problems and are very unlikely to want to bring about any change that could weaken their position, likewise any MSP (like Murdo Fraser) who have made a very good living at not winning, not likely to vote for anything that endangers that so would require to be deselected, not going to happen. I must admit I very rarely contact or have never contacted an MSP or even an MP for that matter. I try to respond to consultations etc but I did email the Presiding Officer about the banging on the tables which does my head in and I find childish, he agreed but said there was nothing he could do about it. I think I would have PR for all elections to be honest now, STV is close but not close enough.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

    • Anonymous

      Grumpy Fella
      Thanks, will check out your blog, totally agree on the grumpiness, we will live long lives lol.

      Bruce

  3. bjsalba

    I have to disagree. I would prefer to have PR as the basic system. Giving the choice to the voters by having some sort of STV on the list MPs might be an answer.

    • Bruce Hosie

      bjsalba
      I think there are a variety of interesting ideas to be honest but I am not so sure we can stay with what we have and your idea would still allow some democratic accountability. It;s tough one though and no doubt will not be solved.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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